Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Maryland?

Can You Own a Gun with a Medical Card in Maryland?

No. State law does not permit medical cannabis patients in Maryland to buy or own firearms. Medical marijuana patients are considered users of a Schedule 1 controlled substance and are prohibited from owning firearms.

Can Maryland Medical Cannabis Patients Legally Carry Firearms Without Permits?

No. Medical marijuana users in Maryland are not allowed to carry guns with or without permits.

Does Maryland Require Background Checks for MMJ Patients Seeking Gun Licenses?

No. Maryland does not permit medical marijuana patients to buy or own weapons, in accordance with federal laws.

Can You Get a Maryland Medical Marijuana Card After Getting a Gun License?

Maryland residents who have gun licenses are not allowed to obtain medical marijuana cards. However, when a patient's medical marijuana card expires and they are no longer using medical marijuana, they may obtain a gun license and purchase a firearm. Spouses and family members of medical cannabis patients in Maryland who own firearms must keep them under lock away from the patients.

Legal History of Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Maryland

Lawmakers in Maryland are making efforts on legislation that would help medical marijuana patients exercise their Second Amendment rights. Over the years, two separate legislation have been proposed in Maryland to help with this. These are SB0602 in 2018 and HB0167 in 2023. They were introduced to amend state laws to give medical marijuana users the right to purchase, own, possess, and carry firearms. However, neither bill went past the earliest stages of introduction.

What Federal Law Says About the Firearm Rights of Medical Marijuana Users

The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits users of controlled substances, including medical cannabis patients, from owning, receiving, or purchasing firearms. This was upheld by the courts in 2016 in the Wilson vs Lynch case. The plaintiff, Rowan Wilson, filed a civil suit in a federal district court after being denied a gun purchase for being a medical marijuana cardholder. In particular, the suit challenged a Federal Statute, 18 USC § 922, which prohibits firearms dealers from selling firearms to unlawful drug users and bars the drug users from owning any firearms. The court upheld federal statutes and determined that the laws did not impede Wilson’s Second Amendment rights. An appeal was filed, but the appeal panel also affirmed the lower court’s decision.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) issued a bulletin in 2011 in the wake of multiple states legalizing medical marijuana. The bulletin advised firearms dealers that, under federal law, individuals with legal medical marijuana cards could not purchase firearms. The dealers were advised not to sell firearms to individuals who they have reasonable cause to believe are unlawful users of controlled substances.

The ATF mandates completing the ATF Form 4473 when purchasing guns from federal firearms licensees (FFLs). The form contains several questions, including questions about controlled substance use, which must be answered honestly. Providing false information or failing to disclose one’s status as a medical marijuana patient is a violation of federal statutes. It is considered perjury and a felony punishable by as high as $250,000 in fines or up to 10 years in federal prison.

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